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Slowin it up.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read about and seen it but I've always wondered how much energy you save by drafting. When watching competition cycling they talk about it like it decides races. So is it really that great?
 

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Yes I have, once you catch the draft it is a huge help. When on the tandem, riders LOVED catching our draft. Riding in a group on the tandem we would go anywhere from 23 to 28 mph from different riders that were taking a pull. It helps. A lot. When on my single bike, when I caught the draft my work load was cut a lot. You can feel it.
 

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Slowin it up.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
See I never cycle with groups so there's no other way I would have known that. Thank you Smiley.
 

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It does make a huge difference. You can clearly see the people drafting often pedaling intermittently to avoid hitting the person they are drafting while he/she is up from working their a** off. Also, pulling out of a draft at higher speeds basically feels like you are hitting the brakes. In fact, that's a good method to make sure you don't run into the back of the person in front of you. Just pull over a little and let wind resistance slow you down.

Here is one number I saw quoted in a study regarding this.

"At 20 mph, drafting a single rider reduced energy requirements (measured by VO2 needs) by 18% and at 25 mph by 27%."

I've also seen savings of 30 to 50% suggested for riders farther back in a group.
 

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I have been riding with another person of equal ability recently, and the drafting has been a very interesting effect. I also had read and seen it on tv, but only recently have I actually been able to feel it for myself.

The effect is really impressive, I can follow and not even pedal and stay up, if I pull out of the draft I fall back immediately and when I pull back into the draft I coast back up behind the bike in front, really gives you a chance to rest.

We were coming down a rather long (maybe 3+mi) 4-5% climb and I could feel the draft from as far as 20ft behind the other rider at 45mph, was VERY cool.

Haven't had the chance to ride in larger groups yet, but will be getting together next spring when everyone begins to ride again.....

DrB
 

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Slowin it up.
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'm going to have to get some friends so I can try this. How close did you guys need to be?
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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There is a big grupe of riders that come by here every sunday and when thay pass me I want to get off the bike to check see if there is something rong with it. Thay have passed me going up hill down hill and on the flat I just feel the wind look up and thay are gone
 

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I'm going to have to get some friends so I can try this. How close did you guys need to be?
Depends on how fast you are going, but I'm thinkin about 1-2 feet off the back wheel of the bike in front....

Some of you who ride in groups, what do you think?

DrB
 

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Depends on how fast you are going, but I'm thinkin about 1-2 feet off the back wheel of the bike in front....

Some of you who ride in groups, what do you think?

DrB
1-2 feet is good. I get between an inch and 6 feet. With wind, terrain and the number of riders, it's impossible to stay a constant distance from the wheel in front of you. One inch is too close; I'll drift to the side or sit up to slow myself to keep from touching wheels. Six feet is too far; I'll speed up a little to close the gap. Once the gap gets too big, it's hard to get back on a wheel.

If you get in a good paceline with people you trust like a regular club ride, it's awesome. The riders are always adjusting themselves a little. You won't notice from a distance but when you're there you see it. We did a flat route last weekend with a group of 20. I'm not sure how to describe the rush of flying down the highway with all of your senses focused on the pace. I love long solo rides with my ipod blasting but good group rides add another dimension to your road experience.

I used to ride solo or in small groups until about 4 years ago. Group riding is a skill you have to work on. You can get gapped and dropped easily if you don't know how to respond to the group's actions. On the first ride I told a couple people that I was inexperienced in a group and I hung in the back. Got dropped several times. I rode home by myself more than once. I'm not sure when but at some point I was a regular on the ride and was at the front as much as anyone.
 
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